01 October 2013

Letters from the Ghana MTC

Hello!

So, I leave tomorrow morning. All the other African elders left this morning (what a night. They all woke up at 4), and I said bye to all of them. There are five left in my district here. The other four leave at 6am tomorrow. Those of us heading to Liberia leave the MTC at 11am. There are ten heading to Liberia, six Americans and four Africans.

I think I might count the weeks, that part seems okay! The weeks have already seemed to go into a blur, although the days feel like forever. I leaveeeee! I'm so excited to be out there in Liberia, but I am nervous for who my companion will be. I hope I can get along with them and really be myself.

I really like those blocks! They're really sweet. I'm excited to see Ryatt grow up in the pictures!
[I had sent him the Week 104 picture:]

Yes, the animal paws were carved. It actually took me a minute to realize that they were even paws. Also, the door designs on all the temples seem to be similar (like the San Diego temple's having a lot of diamonds on the doors), but unique for each temple. I don't get another temple day, so I made the most of the last one. Mentos and everything. ;)

The food stuff has been great! I have only eaten one protein bar so far, and the whole yellow bag has been untouched (except for one drink mix that I opened today). [the yellow bag was a stash of "treats" that he took with him]  I'm saving it for when I'm out there. I found out that I get to check two bags! It's so great! I've been pretty fine with the food so far. The weirdest stuff has been the fish with the bones and skin on it, but I still ate that. It was just a pain to get the meat out. It was kinda fun, and I wished Jacob was there so he could do Gollum impressions the whole time. I played with the fishy in the air and pretended it was swimming! :D

[Mom: Chicken feet? Have you eaten chicken feet yet? Bones and all?]
No chicken feet. I've seen the African elders eat the bones of the chicken that we've been eating, and of the fish. It's weird to watch. They chew them! They just bite them and... yeah. I bit one, and it was really soft! I didn't try chewing or swallowing at all though.
[Mom: Happy to see the food isn’t an issue so far. There will be enough other issues.]
I agree so much. The bugs don't bother me that much either, even knowing that cockroaches are apparently very much in the kitchen. Seriously, I think it was all of Dad's Hawaiian cockroach stories.

I miss such random stuff from home. No food missing yet, except maybe a really good salmon, just 'cause that ALWAYS sounds amazing, but material stuff. It might get better when I finally unpack though.

There are two pianos here, one is a regular Kawai like the church ones at home (although the sustaining pedal has ISSUES), and the other one is a fancy keyboard. I've played a little bit, and I am trying to learn some more hymns. There are only two good pianists in our entire group, and I can't play hymns, so I don't make a third. One of my instructors told me that his companion on his mission actually bought a keyboard (in a West Africa mission) and played it in the evenings! He said they jammed. I like the idea of that. I could learn hymns!

Dad, the idea of singing the songs from home is great. I do it all the time, and I'm surprised by how many I actually remember really well.

Elder Davis is doing fine, he's from PG. Elder Peterson from Spanish Fork is really cool too! He's been showing me meditation stuff, and that's really fun. We have pretty similar interests, and he always enjoys the music I play in the room. He's a great piano player.
Elder Price and Elder Peterson
Hm... I wish I had brought closed toe sandals. Maybe more ties. And the cord to my camera. Oops. I also get nervous about how well my stuff will hold up. I'll let you know if anything is seriously going wrong.
The "Nephi" District. Outside the Missionary Training Center in Ghana

There are... 5 districts? I dunno. A French one. An English learning French one (6 week stay for them. We're their second group). I'm in "Nephi.
Brother Boateng (MTC Instructor) & Elder Price
Brother Opoku (MTC Instructor) & Elder Price

Culture stuff: Howfanow? (how far now, mumbled). Means how are you! Idecool (I do cool).
I bet you don't realize (realise) how much European thought processes have been indoctrinated into our heads. The Africans don't think that way at all. The things that correlate to them don't correlate to us. It's weird. They just... connect different words. They focus so much on specific things, and they really do talk like what? that. yep. It gets old. Thinking: When you say something, they don't quite get what we're trying to say, especially when teaching. It's like, "Hey, this connects great with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, they should connect that!" But they bring it back to something totally different. It's just different connections. more on the "what?": e.g. We're reading the Book of what? Mormon. It says this in preach my what? Gospel. Faith in what? Christ.

I will write more handwritten letters... Apparently the envelopes are recommended to be the peel and stick ones, not the lick and stick ones. I've noticed why. But they seem to be working alright.

I find peace in the scriptures. It makes me feel good and safe. I just wish I could sit there and read them for so long. I'm trying to do good work out here and be less homesick. A mission really is hard, but it's more the concept of change and adapting that's scary. Teaching here has been hard with my companion, but I am sure I'll be able to do it better in the field...  I'm just trying to have more and more faith in the Lord.

Love,
Elder Price

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